North Cave Wetlands Nature Reserve Case Study

Refers to AQA A2 Geography

Ecosystems: Change and Challenge Module

A good ecosystems on a local scale case study

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  • Created by: Bethany
  • Created on: 19-04-14 15:42
Preview of North Cave Wetlands Nature Reserve Case Study

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Freshwater wetlands are home to over 40% of the
world's known species.
In the UK around 60% of breeding little ringed plovers
and over a third of great crested grebes rely on sand
and gravel workings.
Internationally important numbers of wintering
wildfowl such as gadwall, tufted ducks and pochard
use flooded sand and gravel workings.
Over 200 bird species have been recorded at North
Cave Wetlands
The reserve provides places for the birds to breed,
shelter and roost, and a supply of food to eat.
Grasses and flowers are the first things you need on a newly created reserve ­ they, in turn, provide
food for insects and birds.
Tall `emergent' plants such as reeds and bulrush grow at the water's edge. Dragonflies emerge from
the water on these plants.
Small algae and plants such as pond weed grow under the water ­ ducks `upend' and dive to reach
these sources of food.
Colourful flowers grow in wet meadow such as Dryham Ings ­ there can be up to 40 species per
square metre.
Hedges and trees around the wetlands provide seeds, berries and flowers for insects and birds.
Wetlands are especially good for invertebrates ­ they find homes from deep in the mud to the tops
of the trees.
24 butterfly species, 18 damselfly and dragonfly species and 193 fly species are also found on North
Cave Wetlands, and this is set to increase as the reserve grows.
Midges are one of the most numerous wetland insects.
To make a wetland you need water and two years
recording local weather conditions and ground water levels
before plans can be made.
Most wetland life if found in shallow water with muddy
edges, however quarrying usually leaves deep, steep-sided
lakes behind (not always ideal).
Creating islands, reedbeds, lake-like ledges, shallow pools
and sinuous water edges helps makes homes for plants,
insects and birds.
For the Dryham Ings wet grassland, one million tonnes of
material had to be moved to create it.

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They experimented with several crops over recent years leaving crops unharvested to provide
winter food for finches and buntings. Crops have included oat, linseed and barley.
Rabbits were a problem, eating crops before the winter, so a fence was installed in 2012.
The field is expected to attract goldfinches, chaffinches, greenfinches, linnets and the occasional
lesser redpoll, especially if the winter is harsh.
Tree sparrows are common on the reserve throughout the year.…read more


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